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Sports Science Degree

Sports science is the overarching subject that studies a range of sciences, including nutrition, physiology, psychology and biomechanics, among others. The application of these sciences to exercise and sport can improve health, fitness and physical performance of an athlete.

Sports science is the overarching subject that studies a range of sciences, including nutrition, physiology, psychology and biomechanics, among others. The application of these sciences to exercise and sport can improve health, fitness and physical performance of an athlete.


An undergraduate degree in sports science will give you a well-rounded understanding of its basic concepts. You will cover all areas of sports science, allowing you to develop your understanding of how your skills can be applied in the sports industry. You will likely study modules on exercise physiology, anatomy, sports nutrition and sport psychology.

Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical sessions. You may also be required to take part in a placement module, which will give you the opportunity to develop the application of skills.


Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialize towards the end of your degree. This specializations can influence where you choose to work after you have graduated. Common specializations include:

  • Sports Management
  • Physical Education
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Sports Physiotherapy
  • Sports Coaching

If your degree course requires you to write a dissertation, this will give you the chance to further explore and research a favored area of sports and exercise science.

Accreditation and Certification

The accreditation of a sports science degree can depend on where you choose to study. Different countries have their own accreditation systems, meaning that the title of your award could be different. You can typically expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc) at undergraduate level.

Depending on which area you choose to work in, you may be required to gain additional academic or professional qualifications. These can include a masters degree, specific coaching qualifications and massage therapy qualifications, among many others. It is possible that your institution will offer these qualifications during your degree, either for free or at a discounted price.

Timeframe and Further Studies

Generally, an undergraduate degree in sports science will take three to four years. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years when studied full-time.

On successful completion of your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could come in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.

Entry Requirements for Degrees in Sports Science

The entry requirements for a degree in sports science will depend on where you choose to study. Requirements can differ at each institution. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.

You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their sports science programs.

What is a Pathway Program?

Pathway programs are designed to help prepare you for higher education studies and degrees. They are useful if you did not meet the admission requirements for your chosen course, do not have the required language skills, or have changed your mind about what you would like to study.

Pathway courses are offered by different types of bodies. You could take a program at your chosen institution if one is available.

Pathways come in several different forms, each tailored to different types of students. There are specific pathway courses, and these tend to be designed for particular undergraduate degree courses. There are also foundation courses, which are perfect if you wish to study an undergraduate degree but did not meet the entry requirements. If you are wishing to study a postgraduate degree but do not meet the entry requirements, you may wish to explore the pre-masters options that are available to you. A pre-master’s programmed is useful for students who studied one subject at undergraduate and now wish to change their course with a postgraduate degree. Sometimes master’s degree will require you to have studied a certain subject to make sure you will be able to keep up with the higher level of course content. If you have not studied one of these subjects, but still wish to do the specific master’s degree, taking a pre-masters can allow you to meet the requirements in a shorter amount of time. A pre-masters is also helpful for students whose undergraduate degree results do not meet the entry requirements for their chosen master’s degree.

Career Options

Sports science graduates will be able to choose from a variety of career options. Popular destinations include physical education teachers, personal trainers and physiotherapists. Other positions available are fitness instructor, strength and conditioning coach, and sport psychologist. Each of these roles are applicable in both general fitness and professional sport.

Your wide range of transferable skills will mean that your career could take many different paths. You will have gained skills such as effective communication, interaction with a variety of people and problem solving. These are all skills that are highly applicable in all fields, both in sports and fitness, and in unrelated areas.